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“My Sister is Mad Because I Laughed at Her When She Compared Motherhood to Taking Care of Pets!”

One woman has taken to Reddit to ask if she was wrong to laugh when her sister said that taking care of her dogs was harder than taking care of a baby!

I (F28) have a 3-year-old son, and my sister (F32) doesn’t have children but has three cats and two large dogs that she treats as her “babies”. Yesterday, the two of us were talking on the phone, and she started talking about how difficult it was to be a “mother” to pets. She said they were very demanding, messy, and noisy, and that she had to wake up early every day to feed them and take them for walks, but it was worth it for her. She said it was like having a human baby, but worse because animals don’t understand what she says.

I thought she was joking, so I laughed and told her she didn’t know what it was like to have a real child. But when I noticed she was serious, I was shocked at her audacity and started laughing even more. I told her she knew nothing about the difficulties, responsibilities, joys, and challenges of being a mother. I said she was being ridiculous.

She got very angry with me and hung up the phone. Later, she sent me a message saying I was a terrible sister, that I was arrogant and insensitive.

I didn’t respond because I think she’s being absurd and dramatic. I have nothing against her pets; I even like them, but I don’t think they are equivalent to a human child. AITAH?

Many people pointed out how offensive it was when people tried to compare the difficulties of caring for a new baby with caring for a pet.

I do think that „pet mummies“ have to understand that a pet isn’t the same thing as a child. I suffered from postnatal anxiety and my neighbour compared it to how she feels when she leaves her dog with her husband. Just no, it’s feels like an insult to be honest. (Fair-Catch9782)

However, if she expected a huge show of support in the comment section, she would have been sorely disappointed. Whilst many people conceded that motherhood was far harder than keeping a pet, they thought her treatment of her sister was insensitive.

Having owned 3 cats and 2 dogs at one point in my life and then having a child later in life, I will say, the kid is way harder. Animals can pretty much look after themselves for the most part and while they need attention, they certainly don’t need as much. Animals are cool with lounging around for 3 hours sleeping, while kids sometimes won’t even sit still for 5 minutes.

That being said, you were on the asshole side of things. It’s fair to say that pets don’t equal children in difficulty. It’s another thing to say she knows nothing of the ” difficulties, responsibilities, joys, and challenges of being a mother.” You make it sound like you’re better than her. So I’m going with ESH. (PFXampz)


ESH. You both sound insensive to each other.

I was shocked at her audacity

“Audacity”?! Get over yourself.

I was arrogant and insensitive

Yep, this sounds about right.

You know, sometimes when people say things you don’t quite agree with you can just shut the fuck up and let life go on rather than creating a bunch of drama. (vernacian)


She expressed that taking care of 5 animals is hard. Sure, they require less care individually, but 5 animals is still work. You didn’t have to be ‘sensitive’ as you are claiming her and others of being, and tried to empathize with her and see where she was coming from, instead of taking her comment as a personal attack. There is nothing wrong with gently stating that you think you understand where she is coming from, but a human child is more demanding than animals, if you felt the need to correct her so strongly. Instead, you laughed in her face and called her ridiculous.

You sound pretty hypocritical, insensitive, and invalidating of others’ experiences. You reacted sensitively but laughed at your sister when she did the same. Regardless of whether you’re right or not about raising children vs pets, you’re the AH for how you handled it.

Edit: I’d also like to add that for someone like me who has several disorders and very low energy, having two cats is a lot of work. Everyone is different and has different experiences and instead of using this moment to put your sister down and act sanctimoniously, you could have used it as a bonding moment to bring you closer together. It’s like invalidating her was the only way to validate yourself. It’s sad really. (anon)


YTA – are pets the same as having human children? Not by a long shot. But you didn’t have to be so condescending to your sister.

Her experience and viewpoint isn’t somehow taking away from your experience as a mother. It doesn’t at all affect you. Yet you chose to not only correct her, but you laughed at her and called her ridiculous. That was uncalled for. You don’t have to be right all the time. Just let your sister talk about her cat babies. (Latter-Shower-9888)

I get kids are harder than pets but this was insensitive. Your sister doesn’t have kids, and if her pets are her “kids” then let it be. I hate how people with children are constantly putting people without children down. Some people cant have kids, and those people have struggles too. Everyone just needs to be kind. (plantmom6)

What do you think? Would you be annoyed if someone told you that caring for their pets was harder than being a mum to children? How would you have responded to someone in this situation?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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